Alex Lekalaile the Rangeland Coordinator for Westgate in Samburu County collects data on Acacia reficiens
LWF is working with NRT and conservancies with support from the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), and the World Agroforestry Center to map the current extent of Opuntia stricta and Acacia reficiens in conservancies of Laikipia and Samburu Counties. Through project is funded by USAID through SERVIR.
In Laikipia County the focus is on Lekurruki, Ilngwesi, Makurian and Kurukuri, Borana and Ngare Ndare conservancies. In Samburu County, with NRT, the mapping focus is on Westgate, Sera, Namunyak, Meibae and Kalama conservancies.
The mapping exercise involves a mobile App – smart phone application called, “Invasive Species Mapper”, which was developed by RCMRD. Working with the conservancy managers and their rangeland coordinators, the data protocol involves random sampling of vegetation plots in the different conservancies using smart phones and the App. Information collected through the software includes: date, latitude and longitude, altitude and accuracy, the species name, the area covered by the invasive species, canopy cover, habitat, species abundance (the density of the plants in the identified area), land ownership, whether the area is accessible or inaccessible, and settlement- whether the species are in homesteads or not.
Wilfred Meejoli and Nicholas Kodei collect Opuntia stricta data in Makurian Group Ranch
This information will inform management measures to be applied for invasive species, and will also be used to develop models for future monitoring of the management measures applied. This data collection takes a period of 2 months.
This information will be supplied on an open access data platform to County Governments for their use and to guide county-led invasive species control interventions. The tool and technique is another example of citizen science.